Deja Vue: Beyonce announces twins in Lady of Guadalupe style

Guys, I think Queen Bey is trying to tell us something… I don’t think the tacky photo was an accident. I think Beyonce was channeling Lady of Guadalupe in her latest pregnancy photoshoot, announcing her twins.

Beyonce shall now be referred to as the Virgin Mary who will, in due time, break the internet before she brakes her water!

Congrats Beyonce and JayZ!

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In hindsight: Reviewing 2016 goals

Ever since I have been blogging (just over 5 years now), I have shared my new years resolutions to hold me accountable. Setting goals is one thing, sticking to them and evaluating your progress is another. This exercise has kept me honest and really is a fun way to see where the year has brought me.

I have experienced some amazing opportunities this year. Looking back, some of the most memorable 2016 events in my blogging career where:

I’m not sure what everyone is talking about, but 2016 was good to me. Minus my health issues, which have always been there, I have experienced some amazing opportunities and have made some amazing friends this year. I have grown personally and professionally and I am thankful for each life experience that has been handed to me.

Last year’s goals were SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and measurable)… or so I thought they were! Let’s see if I held my promises.

  1. BUDGET-Get a grip on spending, pay off small credit card debt and start mega-saving. Allow me to explain… NO PROGRESS! I think I am at status quo here! hahaha
  2. HEALTH- Maintain weight loss and lose more if possible (no pressure). Maintain workout schedule and running. All this while protecting my lower back and shoulder. Ok, so I think I have maintained and maybe gained a few pounds. I did run a 5K marathon but did not maintain the running. I will blame this on my new endometriosis symptoms.
  3. FAMILY- More of it; time and members. Register Victor for swimming and gymnastics. Ok, I did register Victor for swimming and this post is reminding me that I need to do it again in the new year! More family members is a little complicated. I didn’t realize at the time that I was experiencing infertility caused by my endometriosis. But getting answers for my stomach issues was on my list and one year later, I have a whole new set of issues to deal with from surgery to IVF!
  4. WORK & LIFE BALANCE- Find ways and time to tune out and to kick butt all at the same time. Still working on this one, it’s an ongoing struggle. Please tell me when you have found the answer.
  5. ART- Start painting and drawing again. I have done a few paintings with Victor, that should count for something! I would love to do a calligraphy course, though!
  6. MUSIC- Get guitar lessons and perform an open mike song. I’m a regular at Achoired Taste karaoke at the Belmont, but no official open mike with guitar in hand.
  7. VACATION- insert Italy/Armenia trip here. Also, See #1. Booked a trip to Hawaii in January! That has to count for something.
  8. WRITING- Start my first kid’s book, have an article published on Huffington Post and take on more paid work. More paid work, check! The rest we shall see.
  9. DECLUTTER- my life, my house, my friends, my stuff, my clothes. Getting there! I did a huge clothing sale which was an eye opener, but until I get a grip of #1… this will become a never ending vicious cycle. I am almost ready for another sale!
  10. MODE XLUSIVE- keep blogging, grow my Instagram account and do more TV gigs. Um, I think I nailed this one, what do you think?
  11. FIVE YEAR PLAN- Buy a second house as a rental unit. Calm down there, overachiever.
My 2016 best nine! Instagram has been a game changer for me this year!

As for my 2017 goals? I want to keep them simple. These goals are not SMART at all, but more of a new frame of mind that I need to embrace.

  1. LESS- find peace of mind with doing less, owning less, spending less, buying less. I watched the documentary “The Minimalists” on Netflix and I loved their quote “Love people, use things. The opposite never works.”
  2. WEALTH- Money and knowledge. If I do well at #1, I will automatically have more money. I need to curve my spending and get my finances in tip top shape! I also want to learn more ( about digital strategy, video editing, growing my Instagram following, SEO) and travel- duh!
  3. HEALTH- I want to start exercising again, so I feel better and keep my weight off. I want my surgery date, and I want it to go well, and lastly I want Victor to have a sibling.

The rest is all lovely, but ultimately, if I don’t have a healthy body and mind, I can kiss the rest of these goals goodbye.

So cheers to you, my friends! Have a great NEW YEAR and I wish you all the best!

XOXO Chantsy

PS- my husband pointed out to me that the horseshoe in my hero image has to be upside down for good luck… oh brother! haha

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Laugh, run & jump for joy with Icon pee-proof underwear!

Disclaimer- This is a post for mature people who deal with real health issues. There is no room for bullies or judgemental idiots. K, thanks!

If you follow me regularly, you know that I suffer from endometriosis and that I blog about it openly. Too many women suffer from this disease in silence, and somehow no one knows anything about it. I swear to you, every time I write something about endometriosis, I get 2 private messages from women sharing a similar challenge with their journey to health.

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Tummy Talk: an open letter to our healthcare system about my endometriosis

I haven’t blogged about my endometriosis in a while, despite the fact that it has been a huge part of my life in the last few months.

In September, I was on my deathbed. I couldn’t stand the pain I was in and was off of work for one week. My stomach was bloated and cramped up and I couldn’t function. I later realized that my cramps and stomach pain were highly related to my diet. The frustrating part is that no physician will confirm that diet and endometriosis symptoms are directly related, because alas, there are no studies to prove it.

Well I am my own scientist, I do after all have a biochemistry degree! Since watching my diet over the last month I managed to keep my symptoms at bay… That is until last night! It was Halloween. I indulged in pizza night, nibbled on a few pieces of chocolate, had a cupcake for dessert and munched on some chips and dip. The cramps came in full force. Now that I list everything I ate, no wonder I felt like crap. But again diet is not supposed to affect endometriosis symptoms, but it does for me. And I assure you I will never go down that path again. When I see junk food my brain now computes it as “poison”. It could be the salt, the gluten, the sugar… I don’t know. All I know is that it’s all bad for me. I need to stick to my healthy eating habits!

Why the oranges?

As I was mentioning in September, I was in so much pain that I went to Emergency at the hospital. I think frontline healthcare team’s have no idea how to deal with endometriosis. It’s so sad. All they could do was give me Percocet which made me more nauseous and drugged up, but I was still in pain. Useless.

I was then given an ultrasound, to confirm once again, that both of my ovaries contain an 8 cm cyst filled with blood, also known as an endometrioma. This and other symptoms, confirm stage four endometriosis. Not good.

So when people ask me what is wrong, I like to tell them that it’s like having two oranges in your stomach. It’s hard for me to do things like yoga, when I have to either lay down flat on the floor or bend my knees into my chest. But I still do it, because it makes me feel amazing. Ironically, I need to do prenatal yoga poses to make me feel better. When my stomach is bloated and cramping, it is completely extended and once again, ironically I look pregnant. I say ironically, because we’ve been trying to have another baby for two years and endometriosis has rendered me infertile.

When you look at statistics for endometriosis, it affects approximately 10% of all women. But most women have an individual and unique case. The question is why do so few people know about it or what to do with it? There are so little studies to support it, even though it causes pain and infertility in most women. It’s the classic case of “it’s not deadly so let’s leave it alone”. No, I may not be dying but I sure am in a lot of pain.

My plan

Last week I finally saw my endometriosis specialist, I waited three months for this appointment. Together we confirmed that I will need surgery to remove my cysts and go on medication to control my endometriosis. The problem is I need to wait 6 to 8 months for my surgery. “Oh you’re not dying? Get in the back of the line.” This is why I am writing an open letter to our healthcare system, or whoever is listening.

My open letter

Dear person in healthcare who can make a difference,

My name is Chantal, I am an upstanding citizen with lots of potential. I work two jobs, pay all my taxes, make donations when I have the means and try to help others when I can. Other than my endometriosis, I am healthy, I am young, I am married, and I have a healthy three year old boy (who really wants a sibling).

I am writing this letter to you to consider the idea of investing in potential.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should neglect the very ill. I am asking that we balance our healthcare services, and operating schedule and also help those with a bright future.

So many of our healthcare dollars go towards saving people who have purposely harmed themselves and require seven hour emergency surgery, and here I am having to wait half a year for mine.

I’d like you to recognize that endometriosis is a debilitating chronic disease, that causes physical pain, infertility and therefore emotional pain.

I started my endometriosis action plan this January, and have had to wait three months to see my gynecologist, another three months to see a fertility specialist (which I don’t qualify for because of my cysts) and another three months to see my endometriosis specialist. Now I must wait another 6 to 8 months for my surgery, for a chance to get pregnant.

It’s time to prioritize the healthy and consider a healthcare system that embraces prevention and invests in potential.

I’ll be waiting here patiently until you do.


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